“You see what they are doing? They’re blaming Iowa. It’s not the fault of the Democratic Party. It’s Iowa’s fault. After the citizens of Iowa put up with all that interaction with candidates swarming the state for the past year (and more) and after they showed up for this elaborate nighttime gathering in groups in gyms and showing support with their bodies, they are blamed for the screw-up of the party!”
Iconoclastic blogger Ann Althouse, reacting to the Democratic Party’s attempts to mitigate the Iowa Caucuses debacle.
At least they aren’t blaming it all on Trump. Yet.
The other blame-shifting I’m seeing is: The computers did it. There was an app and it somehow caused all the trouble. Reminiscent of Hillary’s wipe-it-with-a-cloth computer problems. I really don’t want to hear excuses that have to do with computers getting things wrong. This cannot have been a complicated app, and the backup was to use the phones, yet they want to blame the phone lines too! It’s just not credible.”
What triggered Althouse were Washington Post headlines telling her that
Sen. Dick Durbin said it was time to end the Iowa caucuses and that Howard Dean said that Iowa should no longer lead the primary parade.
What I especially like about Ann is that her academic detachment allows her to focus on aspects of an issue that most analysts miss because they care about the results more than she does. This talent is annoying when it results in her going off on tangents about how a particular word is used in a quote or article–she’s been obsessed with the word “garnered” for a couple of weeks now—but this is an example of her picking up on an ethics issue that nobody else, including me, was mentioning: the avoidance of accountability.
I was shocked when I woke up this morning after sleeping in—bad night—to see that the results of the Caucus still hadn’t been announced. It’s a massive embarrassment for the party, and again—commenter Michael West disagrees with me on this, but I’ll double down now—it is bad for everyone, not just Democrats. Ann was focusing on this as well, I think.
The Iowa Caucuses have long been celebrated as old fashioned democracy in action: citizens meeting in firehouse hall and churches, debating, making their preferences known. I come from Arlington, Massachusetts, the largest municipality in the nation that still uses the town meeting system of governance. Local and regional democracy, though the Left increasingly derides it in its quest for global government, is the heart of American values. This kind of breakdown, catalyzed by inflicting technology on a system that has worked just fine without it, undermines public trust in our institutions.
That is dangerous.
Moreover, it is in everyone’s interests, in a two party system, for both parties to find the best possible candidate. This was a point I kept making in 2016. For either party’s system to blow up increases the likelihood that chaos will taint the process, and cause unforeseen and unintended results—as it did the last time.
In my early morning post, I pondered the likelihood that the President would unleash a mocking tweet. He did, but it was, for him, restrained:
I had forgotten about the Obamacare rollout and the breakdown of the healthcare.gov website. The episode again highlighted Obama’s weak executive style–he should have fired many incompetents responsible, but apparently dismissed none. The news media’s refusal to ever hold Obama appropriately accountable shielded him from the criticism he absolutely deserved, but then they have made up for it with this administration, refusing to give the President credit for good results, and routinely condemning him if they can figure out any pretense to do so.
We’ll see if the Democratic Party’s loyal allies in the media lay the blame for the Iowa farce where it belongs.
The link that will work in a Facebook post is this: https://twitter.com/CaptCompliance/status/1224751489765322753